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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  March 13, 2015 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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03/13/15 03/13/15 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> corporations are people, my friend. where do you think it goes? >> in the pockets. >> whose pockets? human beings, my friend. amy: remember when mitt romney said corporations are people? five years after the supreme
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court opened the floodgate of corporate spending on elections, a movement is growing to amend the constitution overturn the doctrine of corporate personhood. but some lawyers say the effort could backfire and make it hard to hold corporations accountable. we will host a debate. then to the hidden battles to collect your data and control your world. >> russia, china, iran tunisia are trying to push an internet sovereignty, nationalism movement, that gives them the ability and permission to subvert it on their citizens, whether it is surveillance or propaganda, censorship. these are all on the rise. the united states is, quite sensibly, pushing down against that that we need a free and open internet. it turns out at the same time they're doing these exact same things. amy: leading security and privacy research bruce schneier on his new book, "data and goliath."
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all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. iraqi officials say they are close to victory in an an iranian-backed offensive to reclaim the city of tikrit from the self-proclaimed islamic state. iraqi forces and iranian-backed militias have reclaimed swaths of the city without the aid of u.s. airstrikes. the gains come as abc news reports iraqi military units trained and armed by the united states are under investigation by the iraqi government for war crimes. videos and photos on social media appear to show militia members and soldiers from elite units massacring and torturing civilians, and displaying severed heads. a syrian opposition group reports airstrikes by the u.s.-led coalition against isil have killed over 100 civilians. the syrian network for human rights said dozens of civilians have been killed in strikes targeting oil refineries, while
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51 were killed in late december when u.s. aircraft struck a building housing an isil prison in al bab. a u.s. drone strike has reportedly killed a senior member of the militant group our shabaab -- our shabaab along with two other people. unnamed u.s. and kenyan officials told the associated press the strike killed adan garar, accused of helping to plan the 2013 mass shooting at the westgate mall in nairobi. sierra leone has seen an uptick in ebola cases in certain areas, as the total number of deaths from the outbreak has topped 10,000. liberia released its last ebola patient from treatment last week, but guinea and sierra leone are still struggling to contain the virus. world health organization assistant director-general bruce aylward warned waning global attention poses a major risk. >> in terms of the risks, the
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single biggest one probably at this point is the risk that the world stopped looking at this disease, stops looking at these countries. we talk often about how the steep drop-off in cases is billy thing that has dropped more quickly and steeply has been the new contributions in financing to the program. amy: meanwhile, a worker from the u.s. aid group partners in health, and a british military aid worker have both contracted ebola in sierra leone. the british aid worker has arrived in london for treatment, while the u.s. worker is due to arrive in bethesda, maryland today. world powers have reportedly opened talks on a possible u.n. security council resolution to lift sanctions on iran if a nuclear deal is reached. according to reuters, the talks between the united states, iran, britain, china, france, russia and germany are taking place ahead of the resumption of nuclear talks next week. a u.n. resolution could render the nuclear deal with iran legally binding, making it harder for republicans in congress to undo it. meanwhile, iran's supreme leader
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ayatollah khamenei has criticized this week's open letter from republican senators threatening to nix any nuclear deal. >> the team a signed by president khamenei to the talks, those turn to secure the country's interest, of course. i am concerned because the other side, the u.s., is into deception, trickery, and backstabbing. amy: after years, swedish prosecutors have issued a request to question wikileaks founder julian assange in london following pressure from swedish courts and repeated requests by assange's lawyers. gillian -- julian assange, who has never been charged over the allegations, has been holed up in the ecuadorean embassy in london since 2012, fearing his arrest warrant in sweden, could lead to his extradition to the united states. assange's lawyers have been asking swedish prosecutors to question him in london for over
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four years. protesters in ferguson missouri, held a candlelight vigil following the shooting of two police officers outside by an unknown gunman. both officers have been released from the hospital. the shots were fired during a protest outside the ferguson police department, but police say the shooter was about 125 yards away. attorney general eric holder condemned the shooting, which came on the heels of a justice department probe on rampant racial bias by ferguson police. >> what happened last night was a pure ambush. this was not someone trying to bring healing to ferguson. this was a damn punck there was trying to so discord in an area that it's trying to get together -- that is trying to bring together a community that has been fractured for too long. this really disgusting and
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cowardly attack might have been intended to unravel any sense of progress that exists. i hope, that in fact, does not happen. amy: an email obtained by the intercept news site reveals members of an fbi joint terrorism task force tracked details of a black lives matter protest at the mall of america in minnesota last december. an email from st. paul police officer david langfellow, a member of the fbi task force cites a "confidential human source" who confirmed the date and time of the protest. the email was forwarded to all -- an fbi spokesperson denied the agency has any interest in the black lives matter campaign. new details have emerged about two secret service agents accused of drunk driving into a white house security barricade. "the washington post" reports the agents allegedly drove through an active investigation, directly next to a suspicious package, which had been placed on the ground by a woman who claimed it was a bomb. while officers at the scene wanted to arrest the agents, a
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superior ordered their release without sobriety tests. the secret service's new director joseph clancy, who was appointed last month after a scandal over a white house security breach, said he found out about the incident five days later. the agents have been identified as marc connolly, the second-in-command on obama's security detail, and george ogilvie, a top supervisor in the washington field office who issued a statement last year touting the agency's zero tolerance policy for drinking. mcclatchy newspapers reports an accused torturer who served as a member of chilean dictator augusto pinochet's notorious secret police force worked for the pentagon's top university for over a decade. jaime garcia covarrubias returned to chile last year. he remains there under a chilean judge's order amid a probe into his alleged masterminding of the murders of seven people in the weeks after the u.s.-backed coup
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that brought pinochet to power in 1973. an alleged victim of garcia said he's to wield a horsewhip while presiding over sexual torture and electric shocks. despite repeated complaints by colleagues, officials with the state department and pentagon let him teach at the william j. perry center for hemispheric defense studies for 13 years while immigration officials let him remain in the u.s. the chile story has come to light as a palestinian activist accused of immigration fraud has been sentenced to 18 months in prison. a u.s. judge in detroit called rasmea odeh a terrorist as he sentenced her for concealing her conviction on bombing charges by an israeli military court more than 40 years ago. odeh says her confession to the bombings, which killed two people, was obtained through torture and sexual assault in israeli custody. her supporters say she was targeted by u.s. authorities over her support for palestinian liberation. odeh served as associate
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director of the arab american action network in chicago and has lived in the u.s. for 20 years. she'll be deported after her prison term. in secaucus, new jersey, more than two dozen people were arrested at the offices of the children's place as they called for compensation for victims of the rana plaza factory collapse. the children's place is among the retailers whose products were found in the factory's ruins, and protesters say they have contributed just $450,000 of the $30 million owed to workers' families. next month marks the two year anniversary of the disaster, which killed 1,100 people. bangladeshi garment activist kalpona akter stood with 18-year-old mahinur begum, a survivor of the collapse, and called on the children's place to pay. >> please, care about these workers. don't let them die in these factories or wait for
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compensation for years and years. please pay. when you say children's place care about the children [indiscernible] please step forward and pay. amy: the protest came as a cement factory run by a subsidiary of the bangladesh army collapsed south of the capital dhaka, killing at least seven people and injuring 30. brown university is facing protests over its handling of sexual assault after two students said their drink was laced with date rape drugs at a fraternity party. brown suspended the fraternity phi kappa psi, but dropped charges against the student accused of administering the drugs, whose father is a brown trustee and donor. the accused student hired his own expert, who questioned toxicology tests ordered by the school, leading to revelations brown had selected labs with a history of inaccuracy. meanwhile, a second student accused of sexually assaulting
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one of the women was found "not responsible" after brown said the woman's foggy memory, a symptom of drugging, made it difficult to disprove her alleged assailant's account. on wednesday, 400 students marched silently through campus with dollar bills over their mouths, bearing a red "ix," a reference to title ix. brown is one of 94 colleges under federal investigation for its handling of sexual violence in possible violation of title ix. the civil rights leader reverend willie barrow, who marched with dr. martin luther king jr. in selma 50 years ago, has died at home in chicago, illinois at the age of 90. nicknamed "little warrior," she was a fixture of the civil rights movement in chicago where she helped found operation breadbasket, which became the rainbow/push coalition. i interviewed willie barrow in 2008, on the floor of the democratic national convention in denver, colorado, where she was a superdelegate.
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she told me how then-nominee barack obama came to be her godson. >> he came -- we have a broadcast every saturday morning from 10:00 to 11:00. and he would bring in those two little girls every saturday morning. and he said to me one saturday reverend barrow, could i talk with you? i said, do you want to make an appointment? he said, no i want to talk with you now. i said, come on over. and he said, do you have godchildren? i said, yes. and he said, could i be one? i said, of course. amy: and juanita nelson has died at the age of 91 in greenfield , massachusetts. she was a longtime civil rights activist, war tax resister and farmer. she was first arrested in the early 1940's protesting lunch
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counter segregation in washington d.c. during world war ii, she met her future husband, wally nelson while he was in jail for refusing to fight in the war. in the late 1940's, they helped organize the first freedom rides in the south. at the same time, they stopped paying taxes for war. in 2005, i interviewed juanita about war tax resistance. >> a group called peacemakers had been started. we became members of that. it was the first or second year it was formed. it saw nonviolence as a way of life, not simply against war but the things that made for war, things made for poverty all that sort of thing. and so we just didn't pay taxes and we never filed after that. we never had much money anyhow but i always wanted to make at least $.10 more so i could thumb my nose at the government.
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amy: juanita nelson died on monday. she was 91. we will post the entire interview at democracynow.org. and those are some of the headlines, this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: welcome to all our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. five years ago, the supreme court handed down its citizens united decision striking down the prohibition on corporate expenditures in federal elections. the court's 5-4 decision opened the floodgates for corporate and undisclosed dark money to pour into the election process. according to the center for responsive politics, the number of donors giving more than $1 million to outside groups during elections has grown from two in 2006 to 84 in the 2014 congressional elections. the right-wing koch brothers have pledged to use their network of conservative advocacy groups to spend a staggering $900 million in advance of the 2016 presidential election.
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amy: the citizens united decision, many corporations, including mcdonald's, monsanto, and peabody energy, has cited the constitutional rights and recent efforts to fight back against new laws. mcdonald's and other franchises are now suing the city of seattle over its new $15 and hour minimum-wage law, arguing it violates its corporate personhood rights. on tuesday, the international franchise association told a federal judge that the law unfairly discriminates against franchise owners by treating them differently than local, small business proprietors. they're basing their case on the 14th amendment, a constitutional provision written to protect newly-freed slaves after the civil war and ensure equal rights for all people. monsanto is challenging for months recently passed
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gmo-labeling law under the first amendment, claiming it forces them to speak against their will. today, we host a debate. joining us from watertown, massachusetts, is ron fein from free speech for people, which backs the constitutional amendment to overturn the doctrine of corporate constitutional rights. and in boston, we're joined by kent greenfield, professor of law and dean's research scholar at boston college law school. he recently wrote a piece for washington monthly called, "let us now praise corporate persons." we welcome you both. ron fein explain what is meant by corporate personhood. >> thank you amy and juan and professor greenfield. we talking about the constitution. the idea of a corporate personhood is a doctrine that comes out originally of state
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law and enables a corporation to have some of the legal rights as people when we deem it is appropriate for them to do so. for example, a corporation can own property, sell property, sue and be sued. that is all good. but when we are talking about the constitution, that metaphor of the corporation is person becomes extremely dangerous because it leads to fuzzy thinking and that is why we see things like the eagle protection clause cases were corporations are claiming that regulations about the minimum wage that treats certain types of corporations to freely from others, are a form of discrimination that we should be concerned about and similarly under the first amendment, we see also corporations in the metaphor of personhood to refuse to speak as if they were a dissenting religious minority, when what is being asked of them is to disclose information about what is in the products they sell. you take that metaphor of corp. personhood and transpose it onto
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the constitution becomes extremely dangerous and that is why we have seen a sustained and renewed assault on laws ranging from minimum-wage to genetically engineered food disclosure to disclosure of products coming from war-torn regions of central africa, to st. louis, missouri ballot initiative that seeks only to end public tax breaks for also feel producers and also being challenged as violating equal protection clause. juan: kent greenfield, could you lay out what you believe expansion of corporate personhood would bring more accountability by corporations? >> sure. again, thank you for inviting me on. i will say hello to ron fein whose work i respect quite a bit. first of all i should say i think the examples that you raised so far in the segment about seattle minimum-wage and some of the forced disclosure
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laws, i think the corporations should lose in those cases. my point is, corporate personhood is often misunderstood. ron is correct that for the most part, corporate personhood is in plea just another way of saying that corporations ought to be separate legal entities, and that is a wonderful thing. it bolsters the ability, the legal ability to hold corporations accountable. think about the bp oil spill from seven year -- several years ago. the corporation itself, it was not a legal entity, then it would be hard to hold anybody accountable. it would be hard to hold individuals involved, surly don't have deep enough pockets to pay back the horrible damage that was caused. i think where ron and i would disagree is that whether corporations should be able to assert -- ever assert any constitutional rights. i think some constitutional right some of the time are
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appropriate for corporations to assert. the easiest example is media corporations. "the new york times" is a media conglomerate, certainly ought to have first amendment rights. that is an easy case. i think the harder cases are what to do about election spending and the like, and in those cases, i think, as amy suggested at the beginning of the segment i think the torrent of money going -- independent money going into politics these days is a danger to democracy. i think the danger is money whether comes from corporations or individual, and most of the money we're seeing actually in politics these days is coming from rich and eventual's, not corporations. amy: so what you are really debating is whether a constitutional amendment should be put forward. before we talk about that, i
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want to ask kent greenfield on this issue, for example, of the lawsuit heard this week, explain what is happening, why is mcdonald's, the other corporations like comfort inn holiday inn, why are they suing seattle over seattle's minimum-wage hike to $15 an hour? >> actually, i've heard about that case, but -- amy: ron fein, if you know. >> the claim that is being brought by the international franchise association against seattle's new $15 an hour living wage law is that the schedule for implementation treats franchise businesses unfairly because it fazes them in at a different schedule than local small businesses, so they have to comply with the law at a different time.
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the reason for that was the seattle city council study the issue and determined, for example, a mcdonald's restaurant with 50 employees is not really comparable to a small independent restaurant with 50 employees, because it gets the benefits of cord needed marketing, advertising desk cord needed marketing advertising purchase agreements that an independent restaurant doesn't get. that is the basis for their claim. they have challenged the law under whole kitchen sink of theories. one is the equal protection laws. that is part of the 14th of limit, designed to protect freemen slaves after the civil war. it is good it has expanded in recent years to protect additional categories of people, like day and lesbian americans as we've seen in the marriage equality movement, but was never intended to protect corporations. in fact, our research has shown the authors of the 14th of women in the 1860's as reconstruction
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was occurring in the south, were particularly concerned about whether the newly freed slaves were able to earn their living wages. and the united states government took action reading up to the 14th amendment to a sure there were fair -- to ensure that were fair living wages for the freed slaves as they continued working in the south. the corporate claims under the equal protection clause came from after the civil war when the supreme court determined with no evidence or interpretation whatsoever that with equal protection clause says, a state cannot deny the equal protection of the lost any persons within its jurisdiction that persons includes corporations. the supreme court then use this as a tool throughout the gilded age in the late 19th century and early 20th century to strike down minimum-wage laws, child labor laws, and a host of other laws. that continued until the new deal. and finally, fdr, with the public at his back, stood up to the supreme court and the supreme court backed down.
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that led to the postwar era to 1940's, 19 50's, 1960's when corporations were not asserting any constitutional claims by a large and yet we have the greatest shared economic prosperity of this country generations. amy: so mcdonald's is comparing itself to free slaves. >> innocence. amy: and the recently passed gmo-labeling law under the first amendment claiming it forces them to speak against their will? >> this is a line of cases don't is compelled speech. it starts with the 1940's were the supreme court held jehovah's witnesses should not be forced to recite the pledge of allegiance against their will because it violates the human dignity. in recent years the court seven extending that same principle to corporations. corporations are artificial entities created by state laws not endowed by their creator with any available -- inalienable rights.
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the courts have been granting the right to avoid disclosure of product ingredients to corporations. and so when monsanto and other grocery food manufacturers are challenging vermont's law, saying they do not wish to reveal whether their products contain genetically engineered ingredients or not, they're actually standing on some recent supreme court first a member president that is in their favorite -- precedent that is in their favor. in recent years, there's been a corporate takeover of the first amendment or the dockets are occupied now by corporate claims of this type. amy: ron fein and kent greenfield, we have to go to break. when we come back, we will focus on the constitutional amendment movement, how that would affect operations in regular everyday people. we will be back in a minute. ♪ [music break]
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amy: lavern baker, "money blues." this is democracy now! democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. our guests are ron fein and kent greenfield. juan: i would like to ask kent greenfield, on the issue of the criminal justice system, a person commits a crime, they go to jail. a corporation commits a crime he gets a fine -- i mean, a corporation can't be jailed. can he talk about in terms of criminal justice, you blow up -- a factory blows up in neutral several workers or there is a mine accident, and your negligence results in the deaths of several of your workers nobody goes to jail in terms of the corporations. >> right, just the nature of the
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entity. sometimes responsible individuals within the corporations are held accountable. let me speak to the seattle cases and the vermont cases that ron fein had talked about before too. i think the corporations ought to lose both of those cases. i think where we differ is, i don't think it is impossible to imagine a situation where corporations ought to be able to raise some kind of constitutional rights. for example if corporations do not have a right to be free of compelled speech, one can imagine all kinds of bad laws being passed, forcing corporations to say things. fly the american flag when they don't want to come or post a photograph of the president in your indoor workplace. i think where we differ, and even on a terminal justice thing, -- on the criminal
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justice thing, what we need to take into account is some constitutional rights make sense to apply to corporations and some do not. the right to have due process in the criminal justice system, if corporations don't have that right, then their ability to make money, to create wealth of the rest of us, will be endangered. nobody will invest in them. remember the constitutional rights are simply another way of saying that government power should be constrained. and if no corporation can assert the right to free speech or even do protection in any situation and the government can act willy-nilly toward those corporate entities, and that would be a bad thing. amy: ron fein, can you explain the constitutional amendment movement? >> yes, there are two that we are free speech for people.org and other allies in the field are promoting. one is called the democracy for
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all amendment, and that would overturn the supreme court's campaign finance decisions. that would enable local, state and federal governments to set limits on spending money and raising money to influence elections. the other constitutional amendment we are propounded is called the people's rights a minute, noah clarify the rights in the constitution are rights of natural persons not corporations. that does not mean there will never be a case where corporation can come into court asserting the rights that would belong to natural persons. the problem is, the way the supreme court has it set up now corporations are always assumed to be asserting rights that ultimately belong to actual people. a corporation can waltz into court am assuming it has a constitutional right -- it may win or lose on the details, but no one questions whether it has the right. what our amendment would do, is force the courts to do a two-step analysis. the first step is to say, who
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are the actual people being affected by this law and do they have a constitutional right at issue? the second step would be to say do those people have a constitutional right to use the corporate tool to exercise that right? what that would mean is, we would have to look behind the corporate form to say, are there actual people here whose rights are actually being violated? that would change the entire discourse we of been having. in terms of the question about corporate crime, i think there are two things that need to happen. one, we need to have continued individual spots ability. what color criminals should be prosecuted more than they have been. that it is true that corporations can get the death penalty. every state of the union has some provision for revoking corporate charters. and these powers belong usually to the attorney general of the state, not often used now, but at freespeechforpeople.org, we will have a revocation law that
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would provide when a corporation has committed repeated multiple felonies within a short period of time, its corporate charter can and should be revoked. >> one thing i would say what, the two-step analysis that ron fein is suggesting would not change the outcome in citizens united is out. the court, in that case did not say that citizens united, the corporate entity had rights that were violated. what it said was that citizens united was an association of citizens, in constraining that organization's ability to publish -- to release its movie was violating the rights of its members. the people's rights amendment would not change the effect or the outcome in citizens united itself, which is bizarre to think all the effort is being put forth to pass an amendment
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that wouldn't change the outcome. juan: kent greenfield, could you talk about the hobby lobby case and how that affects the discussion, the debate on the issue of corporate personhood? >> hobby lobby was this case they came down last year where a group of evangelical christian shareholders own a privately held arts and crafts retailer in the midwest. they were asserting religious freedom rights to be free of obamacare's requirement they provide their employees with contraceptive services within their health care plan. there was a group of corporate law professors, left of center corporate professors, and i was one of them, who wrote an amicus brief to the court that said really, the answer to this question depends on corporate personhood. if you see the corporate entity as a separate entity, as a corporate person in an of itself, then it cannot borrow the religious freedom interests
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of the shareholders. in the problem in that case when the supreme court held in favor of the corporations, it neglected and ignored corporate personhood rather than further it. amy: ron fein, where do these constitutional amendments stand right now? >> when we begin the constitutional limit campaign, the day of the citizens united decision, and a lot of people thought they would never go anywhere. in fact, we got 16 states and over 630 cities and towns across 38 states that passed resolutions either by ballot initiative or by votes of legislature endorsing the constitutional amendment movement, and with the senate vote on the floor of the senate this past fall, which got a majority of senate votes -- although, did not reach the necessary 2/3 threshold. constitutional amendments take a long time. it doesn't happen quickly
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because the constitution itself provides for a process to make sure constitutional amendments are deliberate. where in the phase of eldon grassroots support in educating people about the need to restore and repair our constitutional vision our predecessors had. amy: had to corporate rights compare or corporate personhood, how does it relate to human rights? >> what you see ironically is most often, an assertion of corporate rights, part of this new corporate civil rights movement, asked directly against human rights. to review just some of the cases , in the living wage challenges, which we are seeing not only in seattle but also in los angeles when they're serving the corporate protection right to not pay the living wage the same schedule that they would be required to buy the law, that goes against the human rights of the workers to receive that living wage on which they can
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feed their families. when monsanto and other grocery manufacturers are asserting a first amendment right not to reveal what products they're selling that contain genetically engineered ingredients, cap violates the rights of vermont consumers who want to know that information. any see the national manufactures challenging a federal law that requires them to disclose whether their products contain minerals that come from the democratic republic of the congo because, again, they don't want to speak about it, that has a direct impact on the lives of people who live in africa who are being harmed by the ongoing conflict in the minerals trade that fuels the militias. when you see a corporation asserting a constitutional right, whether it be in the case of hobby lobby with the shareholders asserting a right that asked to the detriment of their employees, or any of these other cases we have discussed it is usually to the detriment of people. juan: what about the inverse relationship between human rights and corporate rights? >> i agree that corporate
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accountability is a problem, corporate powers a problem, that often there is a tension between these. i have spent my career trying to craft solutions to that problem within corporate governance. and i think that is where progressive efforts should be aimed, not toward constitutional amendments, which in the end would do little to address the real problem. i think the real problem comes from the fact corporations are managed and structured to further the interest of the managerial and financial elite. and how to make corporations more attuned to issues of human rights and the like, may corporations themselves or democratic. -- make corporations themselves more democratic. make boards of directors attend interest of all stakeholders, interests of society. i would put employees on the boards of directors of companies and this is something that works
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in europe. we knew -- we know it works in germany where half of the board of directors of every major company are populated by worker representatives. the economy is doing well. these companies are doing well. and they are seen as much more pluralistic and much more attentive to the needs of all their stakeholders. we here in the united states have this blind spot when it comes to corporations. we think they are in service of shareholders. ron fein and others with whom i have worked for a long time all recognize the core problem is corporate power. we simply disagree about how to address it. i think to go to the heart of how corporations are managed is the real remedy. amy: want to thank you both for being with us. it is a conversation we will continue to have. kent greenfield is professor of law and dean's research scholar
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at boston college law school. we will link your peace and "the washington monthly" called "let , us now praise corporate persons." and ron fein. when we come back, "data and goliath." stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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>>amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. we are broadcasting on over 1300 public radio and television stations around the country and around the world. and on this day, if you want to look back in our coverage of the 50th anniversary of the bloody
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sunday protests in selma alabama, you can go to our website at democracynow.org. juan: we turn to look at what our next guest calls the golden age of surveillance. the leading security and privacy research is out with a new book, "data and goliath." the chronicles how governments and corporations have build them president it surveillance state. the leaks of edward snowden have shed the light on the surveillance practices less attention has been paid to other forms of everyday surveillance. license plate readers, facial recognition, software, gps tracking, cell phone metadata, and data mining. amy: the intercept revealed researchers have been working for nearly a decade to crack the security of apple's iphones and ipads. documents from edward snowden
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show the researchers claim to have created a modified version of apple software development tool xcode, allowing them to sneak surveillance backdoors into apps and programs. bruce shneier joins us now. can you start off by talking about this latest revelation having to do with apple iphones and ipads? >> it is not really new. we know the nsa, now the cia have been working to find backdoors in the computers we use every day in windows and macintosh. this isn't the first backdoor we have seen in ios and iphones. this looks pretty sophisticated, but this is pretty much what we should expect from the united states and other countries and criminal organizations as well. a lot of people trying to get backdoors into the devices we use. juan: what about this problem in terms of, especially, commercial
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of corporate surveillance that the public are willingly giving up their data in exchange for some kind of reduced price or more efficiency in their ability to communicate? this apparent willingness on our part to give away this trove of information about ourselves? >> we give it away all the time. our cell phones don't exactly where we are at all times, otherwise, they can't work. facebook or e-mail or pay with credit cards or anything we do that generates data, we get to third parties. we do it willingly? i'm not sure we do it with full knowledge. we don't pick up our funds and say, this is my tracking device and i'm going to carry to my pocket. we do that because that is how the systems work. so when people are asked do they value privacy, they say yes, uniformly. i think people don't think fully about what they're giving up
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when they go on to facebook or use gmail or do any of these services were data is collected. amy: you write, the powers that surveillance do more than simply store this information. corporations use surveillance to manipulate not only the news articles and advertisements we each see, but also the prices were offered. explain. this is what we see. companies are using surveillance for persuasion, advertising. it is sliced finely personally. the ads you see aren't going to be that as someone else sees based on your interest, but also based on what the companies believe is your income level, how good a customer you are. you are going to see different search results than somebody else. depending on your political persuasion, you will see different advertisements. you will see different offers. you might get a different credit card offer than someone else. that may be based on your income on proxies for your minority status.
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we see a lot of this free personalized advertising designed to influence you and you alone. juan: how do you respond to those, especially in government, who say the surveillance is needed to be able to combat modern crimes, terrorism -- for instance -- all of lower manhattan right now is basically -- there are surveillance cameras that capture every single license plate coming at a lower manhattan for the new york police department. >> their license plates scanners all over the country. it is surprising how much of that is captured, not just in new york. their copies collecting license plates, looking for course for repossession, sharing it with homeland security. we see -- we hear a lot of this is necessary for security. all the evidence shows it is not. there is an huge crime wave of unsolved crimes because of no surveillance. there aren't a lot of crimes being solved by this
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surveillance. crimes are solved by following leads. that is how terrorism plots are foiled. whenever we ask the government, ask the police or the nsa to show how the surveillance is necessary, they can never come up with what examples. occasionally, they come up with examples that don't pass scrutiny. that this really does seem to be what -- we're collecting it because we can, not because we need to. amy: can you compare government surveillance with corporate surveillance? >> they are very similar. i look at it as a partnership. one is caused by fear -- we fear criminals, terrorists -- that his government surveillance. the other is convenience. we like the iphone. we like this free services we get. they both collect data -- very intimate data, where we live what what our interests are, who we are speaking to, who we are intimate with. they share a back and forth.
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data that is illegal for the government to collect. or persons purchase data from corporations. those profiles are used, in both cases, to pigeonhole us, make decisions about us. maybe whether we can get a mortgage, maybe whether we can board an airplane, maybe what sort of credit card offer we see. they're all used to judge as. in all cases, we don't have the ability to look at the data, to correct the data, to see why we're being judged and how we're being judged. we are being judged in secret. juan: last month at an event on cybersecurity, you questioned nsa director mike rogers on the security of u.s. encryption programs. let's go to that clip. >> the question is also about encryption. it is our perception and reality question. we are now living in a world where everybody attacks everybody else's systems. we attack systems, china attacks
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systems. i'm having trouble with companies not wanting to use u.s. encryption because of the fear that nsa, fbi, different types of legal and surreptitious access is making us less likely to use those products. what can we do, what can the intelligence community do, to convince people that u.s. products are secure? that you are not stealing every single key that you can? >> first of all, we don't. number two, my point is, that is the benefit of that legal framework. hey, look, we're specific measures of control that are put in place to force [indiscernible] it is a valid concern to say hey, look, are we losing u.s. market segment here due to the impact of this? i certainly acknowledge it is a valid concern. i just think between accommodation of technology, legality, and policy, we can get to a better place than we are
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now. realizing we are not in a great place right now. juan: what about that response of the nsa director? >> i think he is being disingenuous. that he is saying some rule of law will convince people the nsa is in collecting data will stop but the rule of law says outside u.s. borders it is a free-for-all. you can collect anything you want. they've gone into the links between google data centers and scarfed up everything. foreign companies, foreign buyers aren't trusting u.s. products because of the back doors he is putting in them. my question was, how can we fix that? his answer didn't answer that. rule of law doesn't give people from other countries assurance that we are not spying on their stuff. juan: i want to ask about one of the startling analogies you make your the end of your book between what is happening in this information age in the
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early industrial revolution. you made an analogy with climate change. you wrote -- "data is the pollution problem of the information age and protecting privacy is the environmental challenge. almost all computers reduce personal information. it stays around festering. how we deal with it, how we contain it, and how we dispose of it is central to the health of our information economy." you go on to say "just as we look back today at at the early industrial age and wonder how our ancestors could've ignored pollution in their rush to build an industrial world, our grandchildren will look back at us during these early days -- decades of the information age and judge as on how we address data collection and misuse." could you expand on that? >> it is an important analogy. we're sitting here discussing the data we produce, the data our computers produce. what happens to it, who has access to it, how we recycle it
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how we dispose of it. these are really important problems. they're not things we're going to solve overnight. by fear in that paragraph you read is that it will take a couple of generations to figure it out. that here we are, producing this data, this big data landgrab to access at all, to analyze at all, to use it all, is not being buffered by a sense of privacy through the personal nature of it and -- i guess, i was issuing a warning that maybe we could do better, that we could think ahead as to the problems and really consider where data should be used, where it should be disposed, how personal it is, and how you can't just give it to third parties for free. there's a fundamental rights issue. amy: so governments tell us, if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. why should you be concerned about government surveillance? bruce? >> that is ridiculous.
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those who say that don't tell you all of their secrets, give you copies of all of their e-mails and correspondence. privacy is not about something to hide. privacy isn't something you only have if you are a criminal. privacy is about individual autonomy. it is about presenting your self to the world. it is about being in charge of what you say but yourself and what you reveal about your self. when we are private, we have control of our person. when we are exposed, when we are surveilled we're stripped of that control, stripped of that freedom. we don't feel secure. we don't feel like we're something the hide, we feel like we're under the microscope. we feel like prey. privacy is a fundamental human need and not about something to hide. i think that is a very wrong characterization and we should fight it at every opportunity. juan: what can people do? what are the options? >> this is very difficult.
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i can take things like, don't carry cell phone and don't use e-mail him at don't be on facebook. in a lot of ways, that is ridiculous advice. those are the tools of society and we need them to be fully functioning members of society. at this point, the problems are political and social. we need political change. what people should do now is observed surveillance and talk about surveillance. this needs to be an issue in the next election. it needs to be an issue that people care about. the more we talk about it and make it an issue, the more we will get change. admiral rodgers is not going to do anything unless he's required by law. we need laws to protect us against government surveillance and against corporate surveillance. amy: the l.a. review -- "the l.a. times" review of your book says you are given access to the edward snowden documents. you of a special position to explain complicated, highly secret surveillance programs to the american public.
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what should we know? what should we be aware of? >> the documents in the stories are really explaining themselves, that the nsa is collecting everything. everything they can under a variety of laws that have been bent beyond their intention. data has been collected on non-americans and americans. it is being saved and stored and used and we don't know a lot of the details. this is being done in a highly secretive situations. there are secret courts passing secret rules that affect companies and us, and we don't get to know about them. what snowden showed us is, this is all happening by the u.s.. what we need to understand is this is not just the u.s. china, russia, other countries are doing the same things. we need to look at this and decide what we want.
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the nsa is filling a vacuum by collecting everything. we need to step in and put rules in place. amy: and what most surprised you? you have been looking at this for decades, bruce schneier. what most surprised you in your research for "data and goliath?" >> how little is surprising about nsa surveillance. there was nothing in there that said the nsa is made of magic. there's nothing in there that if you watch a movie where the villain was the nsa they didn't do -- it is pretty much what you expected. but seeing it in stark reality is surprising. sing the details of nsa programs of fbi collection programs, of these license plate capture programs, or what the data brokers know, the sheer detail i think is surprising. while i recognize data is being collected, we often don't understand the analysis. i think that surprises most people. it surprised me. amy: do you think political
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liberty and justice are threatened? >> i think they are. i think we living in a world where we are being judged by our data, being judged in secret word there are effectively secret courts and if you can fly an airplane, you can figure out why you can't or how to address that. if you're denied for a job because of this data, and you can't face your accuser and try to protect herself. these are extraordinary times and i think the threats are great. i've rhythm's are making decisions, not people, and that is very dangerous. amy: bruce schneier, we will continue our conversation and posted online at democracynow.org, particularly how people can protect themselves. bruce schneier is a security technologist. his book, "data and goliath: the hidden battles to collect your data and control your world," has just been published. he's a fellow at harvard's berkman center for internet and annenberg
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